By Adam Newman
No, it’s not a sandwich, the BLT stands for Basic Loaded Touring. Welded from 4130 steel, it’s designed with serious loaded touring in mind (thus the name) but functions well as a commuter or all-around bike as well. Designed by legendary framebuilder Bruce Gordon, it’s a Taiwanese version of his popular, hand-made Rock ‘N’ Road touring model. If you don’t recognize the name, Gordon has been at the forefront of custom framebuilding for decades.
Included with each frameset or complete bike is a pair of racks hand-made by Gordon in California. When you factor in their $350+ value, it makes the $750 frame/fork/headset/stem/racks package seem like a steal. Also available is a Shimano SLX and XT build kit that includes everything you need to finish a bike (except pedals) for an additional $975. Compared to other touring bikes on the market, once you factor in the cost of racks, that’s a very competitive price.
I’ve been riding the BLT for a few months now for an upcoming Bicycle Times review. It’s a shame December and January in Pittsburgh are not ideal touring weather, but as a commuter the BLT has shined. It’s a big bike, for sure, and no lightweight, but it glides down the road with comfort and stability. It’s certainly one of the most comfortable bikes I’ve ever ridden, and would be perfect for long days in the saddle.
The riser stem that was included was a bit too high for me to get comfortabe, so I swapped it with a neutral rise stem and retaped the bars, so what you see here will look a bit different from what will be pictured in the magazine. I think the blue tape looks sharp with the blue frame accents and racks.
Keep an eye out in Bicycle Times Issue 10 for the full review.